eCite Digital Repository

The role of coastlines, people and fire in the development of heathlands in northeast Tasmania


Thomas, I and Kirkpatrick, JB, The role of coastlines, people and fire in the development of heathlands in northeast Tasmania, Journal of Biogeography, 23, (5) pp. 717-728. ISSN 0305-0270 (1996) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.1996.tb00032.x


Pollen analysis of a core taken from a reed marsh in northeastern Tasmania near Bass Strait highlights the interplay between climatic changes, sea level rises and the effects of Aborigines during the Holocene. Prior to 10,000 BP the region formed part of the Bassian landbridge which connected Tasmania to the Australian mainland. Vegetation at that time was characterized by shrubby grasslands with a very sparse tree cover. After 9000 BP, Eucalyptus forests prospered until about 6000 BP. A combination of salt spray from a stabilizing mid-Holocenecoast, the progressive effects of soil podsolization and burning by Aborigines, eventually favoured the replacement of grassy Eucalyptus forests by Allocasuarina with an increasingly heathy understorey. The treeless heaths dominated by dwarfed Allocasuarina which presently dominate the area are regarded as part of a degradation sequence in which the above factors are implicated.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:7132
Year Published:1996
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:1996-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-16

Repository Staff Only: item control page